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Raw Question- Whole Or Ground?


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I'm thinking about feeding raw and have read some very good stuff on this forum. The one thing I'm still confused about is whether or not you grind the bones up or just give the dog the piece of meat with the bones. All of the places around here that sell raw dog food grind the bones, but obviously it's easier to just give them the whole thing if you guy from the grocery store. The main thing I'm worried about is our boy taking the meat to his bed and getting it everywhere! Thanks!

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Photographer in Phoenix, AZ www.northmountainphoto.com

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We started with the whole route. The only benefit (IMO) is that they need to work and chew whole pieces more than they do the ground version. It's messy (I guess if you wanted to, you can feed all the meals outside), they can take it "other" places if you aren't mindful (even after containing them in the kitchen, I had to regularly wipe down the ceramic tiles after every meal), if you are queasy, cutting up organs is pretty disgusting, and the bones - well you shouldn't give them too much or their poop will be pretty solid, which is why ratios are so important, and it's hard to just not give too much bone (at least in my case since I couldn't give chicken to Kasey - he got stuck with pork ribs, and often one rib was too much per meal or per day). After a few months of it pretty much taking over our whole fridge, we decided there must be a better way, and just did the ground versions. Ground has proper ratios of bone, organ and meat, often convieniently portioned out in one pound containers, etc., and very little mess aside from defrosting in the fridge..... I just give them some marrow bones to gnaw on during the week that do the trick since they get very little cleaning action out of the ground raw.

 

You won't regret the switch, but I'm just not a fan of the whole way of doing things.

Edited by XTRAWLD

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12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Better for teeth cleaning and mental stimulation if you feed whole pieces at least some of the time. Some things I feed ground because that's the only way I can get them and/or it's easier to feed that way (think fresh tripe ;) ), but otherwise I feed whole meaty bones or chunks of meat or organ and I try to make sure that one night a week they get a bigger meaty bone that takes a long time to work through (things like whole lamb necks, large mutton bones, etc.).

 

There are a few online options for getting stuff that's harder to find locally, or to source pastured meat if that's your thing (preferable in terms of nutrients for the dogs imo):

Hare Today

My Pet Carnivore

A Place for Paws

 

Until My Pet Carnivore gets larger shipping boxes, I am using Hare Today. I sort of despise the customer service at A Place for Paws (and the bad behavior and training advice they post on their FB page sometimes) so I won't use them anymore, but their product is good quality so I figured I'd mention them. ;)

 

ETA: I generally feed the dogs in crates, but right now we only have 2 crates up and 3 dogs so the odd man out so to speak eats on a dog bed that has a rug over it. I buy the really cheap thin rugs from Ikea and after they've been used a few times or after a particularly stinky or messy meal they all go in the washer. You can also buy the cheap washable crib mattress liners and flip them over so the food is on the "shiny" side. Inexpensive plastic tablecloths also work well. Or just put him in the yard if you have one. If we did, we'd do that. :P

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I have fed raw for years, and started out with whole parts because at the time, there weren't a lot of options! I still like the benefits of at least whole turkey or duck necks, but I currently have seniors and Sallie at least is missing quite a few teeth. Ground is easier, as well! When I did feed parts, I trained the dogs to eat on towels, easy clean up. I get my food here http://www.freshrawdogfood.com/

Not sure what part of the valley you are in, but she has three pick up locations once a month, or they will deliver to your house for, I think, $10. There are ground options and whole necks, and you don't have to buy a whole case (but that is cheaper, of course!)

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We also feed ground.

We're very lucky to have a 'manufacturer' right here in our little Village.

 

It comes in 40# blocks.... frozen... which he cuts to whatever portion size you need. We get ours cut into 1# pieces. I have a small freezer for just dog food.

His mix is .....

- Chicken 40% - Beef (red meat and bone) 15% - Beef (internal organs, tripe, kidney, heart) 20% - Fish 20% - Cooked Eggs 5%

 

We get chicken feet and beef knuckle bones from a local butcher.

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

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I feed both, and either can work. :) Ground is a lot easier in that it is less mess, and often contains things in it (organs, tripe) that would normally be unavailable or nasty to handle and prep yourself. Whole meaty bones are good to have for mental/physical stimulation as well as dental benefits. I really don't like a lot of the big company "petstore" ground diets (they are insanely expensive, and most have a weird smell/colour) but there are a lot of independent and local companies now that grind really good mixes. I make my own ground mix (without bone) and supplement with some raw meaty bones for chewing. I also buy a ground mix from a local company when I can to save myself the headache. Both ways work just fine.

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I use both whole and ground. I buy ground in 40 lb blocks and chop it into servings before putting in the freezer. It's convenient since it goes right in their bowl. I also get bones and some organs whole and just feed them that way. There's not necessarily balance in the day for them, but there is during the week. Today might be some ground mix. Tomorrow might be tripe and livers.

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I am just getting Snickers started in Raw food. She LOVES it!!! :chow

I get my from Suzy's doggie delights and pick it up at the "store front" so I don't have to pay shipping.

 

its $$$$ :wacko: I figure it will be about $160 a month to feed my allergy ridden little girl. :yikes

and i'm having a mental breakdown working out the amount to feed and paying the monthly food bill.

 

eta: had to change the total monthly amount to a higher price,, miscalculated the first time so now i'm even more in shock!

Edited by 3DogNite

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

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I am just getting Snickers started in Raw food. She LOVES it!!! :chow

I get my from Suzy's doggie delights and pick it up at the "store front" so I don't have to pay shipping.

 

its $$$$ :wacko: I figure it will be about $160 a month to feed my allergy ridden little girl. :yikes

and i'm having a mental breakdown working out the amount to feed and paying the monthly food bill.

 

eta: had to change the total monthly amount to a higher price,, miscalculated the first time so now i'm even more in shock!

I hate to say it, but this is my main concern... I probably don't spend that a month on groceries :ohno That's why I'm trying to figure out something else like maybe feeding raw chicken leg quarters and grinding meat... Also I know Hobe meats has a dog food http://hobemeats.com/products/all-natural-pet-food that is a little less. You may want to check it out, but I don't think it's complete.

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Photographer in Phoenix, AZ www.northmountainphoto.com

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I've continued to look and price out raw foods and I've come to the conclusion that what i'm getting for Snickers is

about $2.80 per lb. Many other companies break down to much higher cost than this. so, i need to just hang in there

for a little while and see if Raw will help Snickers allergies.... which is why i switched to raw in the first place.

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

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This won't help but I feed four hounds on raw for about $40 Australian a week. That's about $31 US. I get pet mince from my butcher which is 50/50 chicken meat and bone for $1.50 per kilo AUD (21 kilos per week) then organs, giblets and meaty bones as well. I'd suggest schmoozing with your butcher.....

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Pre made raw is horrifically expensive. If you do it yourself and are careful and plan ahead (get a freezer and stock up when things are on sale) you can do it for the price of a premium kibble. I used to feed mine for about $50/mo. and that was feeding pastured and all natural products. My average was definitely well below $2/lb.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest KennelMom

we feed ground because it's easier. It's actually not that much more expensive for us from blueridge beef. I think they only distribute in the southeast though. We offer meaty bones when we think about it and the weather is accommodating because that's what does the best job of cleaning teeth.

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Guest Lillypad

It saddens me to think folks may give up on raw because of the price. I feel starting out with a supplier may be a good idea to build confidence in feeding a raw diet but the sooner you gain confidence in yourself the sooner to seek better sources. The supplies are not privy to some special secrete that you don't know. You can put together meals as well or I am willing to bet better than they do. Do some online research, shop for meat sales, (as NeylaMom says a freezer is a must) Some ideas: Meat sales, dogs have no problem with newly expired and therefore reduced meats from the markets.

Butcher shops, game hunters, local farmers.

Other raw feeders in your area can help, buy in bulk with them.

Put an ad on line or the word out for freezer burned meats. These are fine for a dog.

 

As an example: I purchased a utility turkey for $9. I broke it up and bagged it in one pound meals. I got 8 meals from the turkey, that equates to 1.12 per meal. Of course turkey is not her only protein, this is only a cost example. I purchased 5 pounds of chicken feet from our local butcher for $18 the same box from a raw feed supplier is $40. What I am expressing here, is it is cheaper to source your own meals than buying from a raw food supplier. I feed both ground and whole foods. I buy a ground which I feed once or twice a week, but this is because it is a local source and a steal of a deal at .78 cents a pound. The same product retails in Toronto for 1.65 a pound. Should it increase I would stop buying it. Whole food is my preference over ground. So to conclude, don't give up, take pride in feeding a raw diet, as you say your hound loves it. Research, keep your ears open, ask lots of questions, you will be surprised to learn that there is most likely folks in your area that can lead you to more cost effective sources than raw food suppliers. Oh, one more thing, a raw food supplier in our area actually gave me his source for meats...LOL turns out it is an abattoir only a couple miles from here, which I will be visiting in the next few days. Good luck, half the fun of feeding raw is finding economical meats for your babe.

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Thank you!!! good points for saving money,, every little bit helps. The transition from Kibble to raw is a jolt on the pocket book for sure, but the benefits are 10000 fold! :) I won't give up,, I won't surrender! giving raw turkey necks for a meal helps lower the cost as well.. and i do know of a couple butchers close by,, i'm going to inquire with them as well.

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

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It saddens me to think folks may give up on raw because of the price. I feel starting out with a supplier may be a good idea to build confidence in feeding a raw diet but the sooner you gain confidence in yourself the sooner to seek better sources. The supplies are not privy to some special secrete that you don't know. You can put together meals as well or I am willing to bet better than they do. Do some online research, shop for meat sales, (as NeylaMom says a freezer is a must) Some ideas: Meat sales, dogs have no problem with newly expired and therefore reduced meats from the markets.Butcher shops, game hunters, local farmers.Other raw feeders in your area can help, buy in bulk with them.Put an ad on line or the word out for freezer burned meats. These are fine for a dog.As an example: I purchased a utility turkey for $9. I broke it up and bagged it in one pound meals. I got 8 meals from the turkey, that equates to 1.12 per meal. Of course turkey is not her only protein, this is only a cost example. I purchased 5 pounds of chicken feet from our local butcher for $18 the same box from a raw feed supplier is $40. What I am expressing here, is it is cheaper to source your own meals than buying from a raw food supplier. I feed both ground and whole foods. I buy a ground which I feed once or twice a week, but this is because it is a local source and a steal of a deal at .78 cents a pound. The same product retails in Toronto for 1.65 a pound. Should it increase I would stop buying it. Whole food is my preference over ground. So to conclude, don't give up, take pride in feeding a raw diet, as you say your hound loves it. Research, keep your ears open, ask lots of questions, you will be surprised to learn that there is most likely folks in your area that can lead you to more cost effective sources than raw food suppliers. Oh, one more thing, a raw food supplier in our area actually gave me his source for meats...LOL turns out it is an abattoir only a couple miles from here, which I will be visiting in the next few days. Good luck, half the fun of feeding raw is finding economical meats for your babe.

:thumbs-up

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos) and Mario (2nd Chance Rescue).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) and especially  Nigel (Nigel), waiting at the Bridge

 

SKM-fall.jpg

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